2606 Tasting Notes

91

Thanks to silvermage2000 for very generously sending me her packet of this tea!!

Oh wow, does this one ever smell potent, and exactly like lime jello! I’m not even a fan of lime jello, however that’s more of a texture than a flavor thing, so I’m definitely excited for this tea! And my excitement is justified – it tastes just like a creamy limey jello! Can’t really taste the green tea at all, but the flavouring here is amazing. I’m really enjoying the 52teas blends that use marshmallow root for creaminess. It seems to add something extra-delicious that I really can’t get enough of! Definitely regretting not ordering Graveyard Mist now.

I can definitely see why everyone’s a big fan of this one. I think this is one of the SBT teabags I’ve tried as well, and I have to say that it unfortunately definitely falls very short on the flavouring. However, I have an ample amount of this one, and will be enjoying it for quite a while! Yum!

Thanks again, silvermage2000!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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73

Guayusa and chai? Sounds like a good combo. I’d really rather have some of Butiki’s Good Morning Sunshine right now, though…

The aroma of this one is definitely chai-like, but smells like it’s missing something. I suspect that “missing” ingredient is a strong base tea; I managed to enjoy 52teas’ Melange Rooibos without a proper tea base, but I think I dislike the flavour of straight guayusa even more than rooibos… Bleh. Yeah, it’s much more like spiced water that I’m smelling.

Eh… the flavour kind of follows the odd aroma. Strangely enough I’m not getting the classic “guayusa” flavour, just light spices on top of something that’s coming off as creamy and pleasant. An creamy aftertaste that actually reminds me of GMS, but without the Meyer lemon. I wonder now whether that’s a flavouring aspect, or part of the guayusa itself… interesting.

Anyhow, although I’m not disliking this one nearly as much as I thought, it still isn’t likely to be a tea I pick up again. The spicing also isn’t strong enough to make me think that it would make a good latté (all chais should make good lattés!)

Oh well! Another tea down (not a sipdown though, still a couple more cups before that happens!)

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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77
drank Chocolate Rocket by DAVIDsTEA
2606 tasting notes

Well… my morning had started out well…. until I found out that the freeze-dryer was again broken at work. This suuuuuucks…. but at least I’m out of bed, and it’s not 9am yet!

Anyways, I have tried this one before as part of last year’s Advent Calendar, but apparently that was pre-Steepster for me, so now I get to review it for real! (I should have actually tried to find the Advent Calendar sample… this was from a new bag I purchased not too long ago, whereas the other stuff was from 10-11 months ago… Oh well.)

The aroma is practically identical to the chocolate raspberry Lip Smackers I used to have (and may still have, somewhere). It was never my favourite, but somehow it’s one of the few I remember the aroma of most vividly. Hopefully the tea actually tastes like the aroma, instead of the lip gloss.

Thankfully, no lip gloss flavour here. However, also not as flavourful as I was hoping. I can taste the banana-y roasted mate, and definitely chocolate, but the raspberry is kind of eluding me. Or at least, it’s not tasting like real raspberry, and more like an artificial version of it, if anything. It’s also a bit thin-tasting. I’m pretty sure I used enough tea (probably nearly 2tsp for my mug, which I think is maybe 10oz?

Not bad, but… not super tasty, either. Oh well! I feel like a comparison between this one and Butiki’s Raspberry Truffle is required. Different tea bases, of course, but similar flavouring intentions. I think Butiki’s tastes better…

ETA: Second infusion waayyyy too much later is actually surprisingly tasty. Somewhat chocolatey, but not really much raspberry flavour. Well worth it IMO, though.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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64
drank Creamy Pumpkin Spice by iHeartTeas
2606 tasting notes

Next up is a generous sample of this tea from Rachel at iHeartTeas!

Like Butiki’s, this tea doesn’t smell particularly spiced, perhaps because it isn’t. It does smell pleasant though, creamy and sweet and like black tea, but I’m not getting a pumpkin aroma per se.

This tea is definitely more strongly flavoured than the version from Butiki, and is a little bit… sharper, perhaps? In the base tea, at least. Again, no real pumpkin flavour that I’m getting, although there’s definitely creaminess and some sweetness. There’s maybe just a touch of astringency.

Sweetened, I’m still not really getting a pumpkin flavour here. It’s definitely a nice tea, and the black base shines through and is pretty tasty, but there isn’t much in the way of spices or pumpkin flavour, specifically.

Overall: this tea definitely has the best/most flavourful and enjoyable black base of the four I’m comparing, and while it’s a tasty tea, the spice aspect is again lacking.

(Teas under review: Butiki – Pumpkin Creme Brulee; iHeartTeas – Creamy Pumpkin Spice; DAVIDsTEA – Pumpkin Chai; Della Terra Teas – Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

I miss the 52teas version of this!!

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93
drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
2606 tasting notes

The final tea I’m drinking tonight to find that perfect fall pumpkin tea (from what I have in my collection, anyways!)

The aroma of this tea is quite tasty, but loses out to the amazingness of Della Terra’s version. The spicing is heavier here (it is a chai, of course), but it does still smell pretty delicious.

This version is definitely spicy, and delicious. The spicing is excellent here, not overdone, and I can catch a bit of lingering pumpkin near the end of the sip. This is definitely more of a chai than a pie tea though, which is fair as that’s what it’s called!

Sweetened, this one only improves. Still heaviest on the spicing compared to the other three, but it’s absolutely delicious and seriously tastes just like October. Yes, October. I still think it’s a bit reminiscent of Glitter & Gold for me, although I’ve gathered that there are some notable differences (other than a lack of sparkles).

Overall, this tea is definitely my pick for Favourite Pumpkin Spice Tea! I love chai, and it works so well here. As I mentioned in the Della Terra review, I want to try a 50:50 mix of the two teas to see if I can find a better balance between pumpkin and spice, because where Della Terra lacks in spice, it makes up for with pumpkin flavour, which the DT version could use a bit more of to differentiate it from other chai-like teas (like Glitter & Gold). Glad this one has made a comeback for this year’s fall collection!

(Teas under review: Butiki – Pumpkin Creme Brulee; iHeartTeas – Creamy Pumpkin Spice; DAVIDsTEA – Pumpkin Chai; Della Terra Teas – Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Jillian

I’ve never done a side-by-side comparison like you’re doing, but out of all the pumpkin flavoured teas I’ve tried this one is probably my fave. It makes a mean latté too. ;)

Kittenna

Yeah, luckily I have enough of three of the teas to try them as lattés! Another day! I actually had only tried the DT version prior; the rest were all new to me.

tigress_al

Mixed with Butiki Pumpkin Creme Brulee makes it creamier. I was curious how they would be together, but I have also been thinkin about a comparison!

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88

Third tea review comes to me as a sample from Della Terra Teas, which came along with the ounce of tea I won from their Facebook page!

The aroma of this one is absolutely decadent. Brown sugar, a hint of spice, and pumpkin. It definitely smells like a pumpkin pie, and one I’d like to eat, pronto! Best aroma by far!

Wow! This tea actually does taste kind of like pumpkin pie! The spicing is definitely more muted than in DavidsTea’s Pumpkin Chai, and is more appropriate to what a pie would taste like. However, the pumpkin in this tea really stands out. It’s the first tea of the three where I feel the flavour of pumpkin is truly apparent, and it’s good!

Sweetened, my only complaint is that I’m actually feeling like I’m getting too much pumpkin, and not enough spice! Like an underspiced pie, perhaps. Not bad, though! Perhaps I’m a bit biased due to just having had some of the DavidsTea version.

Overall, this is a pretty great tea if you’re looking for something to curl up with in the fall. I do wish that there was a bit more spicing, but for someone who isn’t a chai fan, this tea would probably be the best option. I would happily drink this one again if it was easier for me to order from Della Terra! I may actually try a 50:50 blend of this and DT’s Pumpkin Chai to see if I can get the perfect balance between pumpkiny and spice. Stay tuned!

(Teas under review: Butiki – Pumpkin Creme Brulee; iHeartTeas – Creamy Pumpkin Spice; DAVIDsTEA – Pumpkin Chai; Della Terra Teas – Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

I enjoyed the sample of this one that I tried.. It was pretty delicious :)

Kittenna

Agreed!! :D I think I have a cup’s worth left now… kind of craving it with all this chilly weather we’ve been having.

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78

And thus the pumpkin tea comparison begins. All four teas I’m looking at are highly rated on Steepster, 83-86, so there’s no clear winner from that alone! As it turns out, one is a creamy pumpkin tea, and only three are actually pumpkin spice, so it might be not be as great a comparison as I initially thought, but oh well! All still holiday-themed!

First up is this one, a sample courtesy of Stacy at Butiki, the only tea not to specifically mention spice in the name (although I think a touch of spice is implied when dealing with pumpkin!)

Compared to the other teas I have here, the aroma is MUCH more subtle. So subtle that I perhaps wouldn’t even believe that this is a pumpkin tea.

The flavour here is fairly mild. The tea is a bit creamy, and definitely smooth, and finishes with what I suppose is a bit of a pumpkiny flavour. It’s certainly not strong here though. Pumpkin Creme Brulee? Perhaps it will come out with a touch of sweetener…

Sweetened, I feel like I’m definitely tasting pumpkin now, and can see that with a bit of milk/cream, this could taste kind of like a pumpkin creme brulee. What’s really missing a bit for me is that burnt/caramelized sugar flavour that I associate with creme brulees.

Overall, this is certainly not a bad tea, but in the realm of holiday-type pumpkiny teas, it does not come out on top; IMO that award belongs to DavidsTea’s Pumpkin Chai. I want my pumpkin teas to be more spicy, and unfortunately that wasn’t the case here!

(Teas under review: Butiki – Pumpkin Creme Brulee; iHeartTeas – Creamy Pumpkin Spice; DAVIDsTEA – Pumpkin Chai; Della Terra Teas – Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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88

Still working on my baggie of this from Azzrian! I think I oversteeped a bit today, as it’s kind of astringent and there’s definitely some bitterness going on. Or, it could be because the tea travelled in my backpack a bit longer than it should have, and I know that at least once, I crushed some of it while grabbing for my phone or something else in the same pocket. Whoops. However, it’s still pretty tasty. I’m finding flavoured blacks that include caramel/vanilla/something along those lines, in addition to other flavours, are by far the best ones for me (although straight blacks like Laoshan and Butiki’s Mi Xian far surpass flavoured teas for me in terms of deliciousness and lack of astringency!)

Anyways, this is a pretty good cup! Trying to get caffeinated to go upstairs and grind some samples… need to work enough to deserve the reward of opening up and playing with my brand new just-delivered-today MacBook Pro! (Of course, the computer came literally ten minutes after I left the house this afternoon.) So excited! And 3 tea orders are en route as well… pretty stoked! My credit card is not super happy with me right now…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

Haha I think that was in the first tea box I ever sent you! :)

Kittenna

Sure was! Still have 3 cups left, at least! Need to improve the work stash, so now it lives there.

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94
drank Lime Gelato by DAVIDsTEA
2606 tasting notes

Ahhhh, delicious. I just wish this one had some real caffeine in it (there’s not enough tea to count). My cup is sweet, creamy, and limey today. I usually prefer this one iced, but it’s amazing warm as well. Definitely one that I hope is never discontinued!

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71
drank Apricot Guayusa by Butiki Teas
2606 tasting notes

Trying this with sugar today. I think I put a bit too much sugar in, though. Sadly, although it’s now quite palatable, I’m still really not tasting much apricot. I can taste the earthy guayusa, and maybe a suggestion of apricot, but it’s really barely there. Oh well, I did find a couple guayusas yesterday that I’ll happily drink again, so may just offload this one somewhere and enjoy the others (once I order them, that is)!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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